Rainbo are a well-established NGO and have been active in Sierra Leone since 2003. Rainbo Centres were set up in 2003 with funding from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), through the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Rainbo Centres were created out of a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, following the 11-year civil war of Sierra Leone.
Between 2003 and 2005 Rainbo Centres were set up in Freetown, Kono and Kenema to provide free medical and psychosocial support and counselling for survivors of gender-based violence following the civil war. These Centres were run and supported by IRC.
In 2014 the Rainbo Initiative was a created; a national NGO to take over the running of the Rainbo Centres. Since 2014, the Rainbo Centres have been fully supported by the Rainbo Initiative. The Rainbo Initiative has grown over the years from just a few people to now over 60 members of staff.
In August 2017 the Rainbo Initiative started to conduct community engagement and outreach activities to try and prevent gender-based violence in Sierra Leone. These activities included going in to schools, churches, mosques and market squares to educate communities about how to prevent gender-based violence. Data is regularly collected by our outreach staff, building an accurate picture of the gender-based violence issue in Sierra Leone.
To date, the Rainbo Centres and Rainbo Initiative have helped more than 30,000 survivors at their Centres. In November 2018 two new Rainbo Centres were opened in Bo and Makeni. Rainbo’s outreach activities also starting working in communities near Bo and Makeni.
Rainbo Initiative dreams of being a household name and for there to be Rainbo Centres in every district of Sierra Leone. Slowly but surely we are tackling the problem of gender-based violence in Sierra Leone and will continue to put the interests of survivors first in all we do!